As the National Hockey League winds down it’s regular season, most teams still in contention are focused on the ultimate goal: winning the Stanley Cup. For Detroit and Tampa Bay, however, the postseason won’t arrive without distractions.
Datsyuk could depart Detroit, return to Russia
According to Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman, Red Wing’s forward Pavel Datsyuk is considering potentially leaving Detroit for his Native country Russia for family purposes. Datsyuk, now 38, still has a year left on his contract, and $7.5 million that will be paid to him regardless of whether he stays or goes. Datsyuk has become one of the leagues most elite two-way players in his 14 years with the Red Wing’s, and leads his team in points with 48 this year.
Whether there is substance to this rumor or not, it had people all over social media buzzing:
Ken Holland on Datsyuk report tonight… https://t.co/9AIkTBAHhe
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 3, 2016
Holland said he hasn't addressed the speculation with Datsyuk and won't until after the season — says all these are, are "rumors"
— Ted Kulfan (@tkulfan) April 3, 2016
Red Wing’s twitter was having none of it:
relax, pavel datsyuk isn't going to leave and stick the wings with that cap hit
/i turn around, eyes narrowed/
he's not. leaving.
— Economical Dunkist™ (@Whoabot) April 3, 2016
If Datsyuk leaves, I'll wish him well. He's been good to us. Not confident anyone can truly replace him.
— Philip J. Wings Fan (@JHowardDesign) April 4, 2016
Fans that were looking for Datsyuk to give a shutdown response to the rumors were left with disappointment:
Pavel Datsyuk says he's focused on present, did not definitively shoot down chance he'll leave Wings this offseason. 1 yr left, $7.5 M
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) April 4, 2016
No matter where the Magic Man ends up; whether it’s Detroit, Russia or otherwise, we’re sure he’ll bring his greatness with him and be an asset to the team around him.
Stamkos injury leaves Lightning’s playoff hopes in question
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos could be out for up to three months with a blood clot near his right collarbone. The injury will require a surgery to remove a rib and relieve the pressure that caused the blood clot. For the Lightning, who have been in-and-out of first place atop the Atlantic Division, this puts a question mark on their strength heading into the post season. Stamkos has 36 goals and 64 points on the year and closing out the regular season without him could alter not only their playoff positioning, but their season altogether.
The news was devastating especially for Tampa Bay fans looking forward to their team cruising into the playoffs, but anyone who’s a fan of hockey understands the significance of his loss.
I feel terrible for Stamkos. Just awful luck. Hopefully he’ll get the chance to get back in the playoffs.
— Joe Yerdon (@JoeYerdon) April 3, 2016
The Lightning are a fun team to watch. Losing Steven Stamkos for any length of time, particularly the playoffs is bad for hockey as a whole.
— Seth Rorabaugh (@emptynetters) April 3, 2016
We are about to find out exactly the value of Stamkos will be to the Lightning, as they prepare for playoffs without him. Rough.
— David Alter (@dalter) April 3, 2016
Gotta feel for Stamkos….awful frustrating news this time of year & knowing your team is facing playoffs #Lightning
— ReimerChick (@JillianMcLeod05) April 3, 2016
Stamkos gave a glimmer of hope when he addressed the injury in a statement, saying: “I will do all I can to help my teammates, and I hope to rejoin them soon in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”